Thursday, December 11, 2014

Governor Herbert Unveils Healthy Utah Plan

Joined by a large group of influential leaders from the government, business, health care, and faith communities, Governor Gary R. Herbert unveiled the details of his Healthy Utah plan. The plan is the governor's alternative to Medicaid expansion and will provide health care coverage for approximately 95,000 Utahns during its first year.

Healthy Utah is built around for central tenets:
  1. Respect the Taxpayer by bringing back to the state's economy taxes Utahns have already paid under the Affordable Care Act to provide health care for the most vulnerable citizens in our state.
  1. Promote Individual Responsibility by using that money that would go into the federal Medicaid program to instead help low-income Utahns purchase private health insurance.
  1. Support Private Markets by requiring that recipients pay premiums and copays and connecting them with an integrated work program that can ultimately reduce their need for public assistance.
  1. Maximize State Flexibility by establishing Healthy Utah as a three-year pilot program, the state is not locked the into a long-term, untested commitment with the federal government. The plan also protects Utah's ability to terminate the program if the federal government fails to meet its funding obligation.

Executive Director Dr. David Patton joined Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox in presenting the plan to members of the State Legislature's Health System Reform Task Force. The plan now must be approved by the Legislature, which is scheduled to address the issue in its upcoming session that begins next month.

To read the entire Healthy Utah plan, click here.

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